Orangewood Foundation raises $672,152 at annual Orangewood Challenge and OrangeFEST

Orangewood Foundation announced the resounding success of this year’s Ninth Annual Orangewood Challenge and Second Annual OrangewoodFEST, held on April 20 at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. The event brought together community members, supporters and families for a day of joy, camaraderie and philanthropy, raising an impressive $672,152 in support of Orange County’s foster and community youth.

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Photos by Werkit Photo

Farmers & Merchants Team – Kourosh Davatolhagh, Dallas Haun, Nic Nelson and Jeff Spinelli-Faris

The day began with the Orangewood Challenge, an innovative, multi-sport, team-based obstacle course. Teams of four participated in a series of physical, mental and teamwork challenges that tested their endurance and collaboration skills. This exciting race benefits Orangewood Foundation’s programs, which support life skills and employment development, housing, education, and health and wellness for youth in foster care. Participating teams included representatives from prominent organizations such as Team Lennar, Optima Tax, Haynes Boone, Cliq, Fidelity Bancorp, First Bank, Farmers & Merchants and more.

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(L-R) Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Joe Stapleton, Orangewood Foundation CEO Chris Simonsen and Chairman of the Board Paul Tobin

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Optima Team – Tedd Barr, Harry Lagenberg, Nick Lagenberg, Miron Lulic and Team Lennar – Derek Kegley, Brandon Matthes, Taylor McSunas, Justin Newe

After the race concluded, participants joined hundreds of spectators at OrangewoodFEST, a celebratory party at the finish line. The community was invited to this free public celebration, which featured live music by Flashback Heart Attack, creating an energetic and festive atmosphere. Attendees also enjoyed a pickleball tournament, fitness classes hosted by TURF NB and explored a diverse vendor fair showcasing holistic approaches to wellness, health and fitness. Delectable fare from local food trucks satisfied a variety of tastes, and adventurous participants took refreshing cold plunges. The excitement continued with raffle prizes that added an element of anticipation and reward for attendees.

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Attendees enjoyed the camaraderie at OrangeFEST

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Team Lennar triumphs!

“The Orangewood Challenge and OrangewoodFEST exemplify the strength and unity of our community,” said Chris Simonsen, CEO of Orangewood Foundation. “The overwhelming support we received reflects the community’s generous spirit and commitment to empowering youth. This will have a lasting impact on the lives of the young people we serve, and we are deeply grateful to everyone who contributed to making this event a success.”

Orangewood Foundation extends its heartfelt thanks to all the sponsors, including Samueli Foundation, Haynes Boone, TURF Newport Beach and Brown Forman, as well as volunteers, participants and attendees who all made this event possible. Their generous support and commitment were instrumental in the success of the event.

Proceeds from the event will directly benefit Orangewood Foundation’s programs, providing essential resources and support to foster community youth, helping them to thrive and achieve their full potential.

For more information about Orangewood Foundation and upcoming events, visit


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